Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Audacity Of Dopes: Congratulations, Poor Nations Of The Caribbean!

This year, as you tell your children the Legend of the 2007 New England Patriots and their Perfect Season, you'll be able to patch your roofs with these fantastic bumper stickers! Remember, you may be poor, but that doesn't mean you aren't a billionaire!

The Audacity Of Dopes: Aspirations of a Vice-President

At this point, it's safe to say that Hillary Clinton is not going to be the vice-presidential pick for the Democratic Party. That's probably good for all concerned. Over at Gawker, Nick Denton says that's especially good for Clinton because the Veep slot is a "political dead end."

O RLY? Certainly, becoming vice-president is no guarantee of ascending to the throne, but as positions go, it seems to be better than most other options. Fact is, this election is unique because someone from the Senate has to win the election, and lately, that's been a hard row to hoe. Americans have, of late, settled on managerial acumen as a preferred trait in their President, and the vagaries of having a long Senate career that encompasses numerous confrontations with the same sorts of issues, adjusted for the current mood/wants of the electorate, makes a Senator especially prone to being tagged with the "flip-flop" brand. Governors have fared pretty well, of late. As have vice-presidents.

Anyway, Denton builds a lengthy case but the logic that underpins it makes no sense. He provides a long list of vice-presidential nominees that failed to become President, such as Ed Muskie and Curtis LeMay and Thomas Eagleton And Sargent Shriver. But in all these cases, they weren't able to parlay the vice-presidential bid into a presidency because they never ascended to the vice-presidency in the first place.

After that, Denton gives you a list of those who did make it to the two-spot: Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Spiro Agnew, Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, Dan Quayle, Al Gore, and Dick Cheney. But among those names, I count three that won (Nixon, Johnson, Bush) and three that lost (Humphrey, Mondale, Gore). Agnew's various scandals kept him from pursuing his presidential ambitions. Quayle ran for President briefly, but withdrew early because of some illness (phlebitis, I think?). And Cheney doesn't need to run for President, because he already has Cthulhu encased in one of his man-sized safes.

So, in terms of Veeps who made full throated attempts at the Presidency, I count three that won and three that lost. I suppose we could really split hairs and toss Quayle in the "losing" column, but I don't think that suggesting that Quayle's holding of the VP office was truly the major deficit that ran against his short-lived presidential hopes. So, basically, if you become vice-president, your odds of being president are about fifty-fifty--unless you don't run for the office, in which case you odds, predictably, decline. Those are pretty good odds, actually.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

DCeiver On Jezebel

This Saturday, I decamp for Denver, Colorado for the Democratic National Convention. So, if you aren't following me on Twitter, you've probably made the right decision as it will be packed with the vagaries of that affair. As will all the Tweets from every blogger you know. We're sorry.

But! Before that, I will be joining the esteemed Megan Carpentier for two days of Crappy Hour over at Jezebel. For those of you who have never read Jez's Crappy Hour offering, here's today's rendition, featuring Megan and Spencer. If all goes according to our purpose-driven lives, Megan and I will be chatting it up this Thursday and Friday. So there. You have all been warned.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Synergy.

ditriech over at Confessions of a Beirut Game was totally reading my mind on the whole "Phelps is a Cylon" idea, and he's got proof! But the odd connections don't end there! I believe that I, too, had the same Cylon thought during an online conversation about who Obama might/should pick as vice-president! And if the Obama campaign is "reading [ditriech's] mind," as he suspects, maybe it's reading my mind too! So, I'm thinking, "Reconsider your stance on FISA, maybe!"

Also, ditriech, I made a teensy improvement on yr wonderful LOLPhelps. Crudely. See if you can spot it!

The Audacity Of Dopes: Josh Green In Hillaryland

Honestly? It was a good read. But, as far as things I found surprising? Hmmmm. The typeface, maybe?

The Audacity Of Dopes: Honestly, It Was The Most Cynical Campaign Ever Created

Choire is absolutely right:

The leakiness of Hillaryland was astounding. But it benefited reporters, so Lord knows they're not going to say a word about it now. They still don't look at it too fondly, though—it just felt dirty, even while you were grateful, as any reporter would be...
You know how everyone wrote their version of "Why we didn't cover the John Edwards story" last week? I sort of feel I owe the world a "Why I didn't warn you that Phil Singer was so awful" article. Well, Singer got lost in the awfulness of Wolfson and Penn and McAuliffe, who are all just the fucking worst. Still, I apologize.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

ICYMI: Today's HuffPostery

RNC Stalks Barack Obama
In which the RNC sends me emails describing how they follow Obama around Hawaii, while the candidate buys cheeseburgers, because they are apparently stupid.

Colbert Bump A Boon For Democrats, But Not Republicans
Pretty much what the title says, only with links to PDFs!

The Masterful Math Of Tucker Bounds
Bounds Obama ad pushback is 100% effective at being 25% effective, and only because it calls the oeuvre of Will Ferrell to mind.

Bayh As Veep? Advantage McCain
Pretty much the same thing every other liberal blogger has been saying to themselves.

also
McCain Assures Townhall That Death Stalks The Supreme Court Justices, and
That Chupacabra Story That I Somehow Got Permission To Publish

You can bookmark my personal page at HuffPo here, or subscribe to the HuffPolitics feed, which includes Sam Stein and Seth Colter Walls!

I Want To Defy The Logic Of All Sexx Laws

This article chronicles the interesting twists and turns that occurred in a Staunton, Virginia court, as an obscenity trial against a local porn shop got underwar today. Apparently, the prosecution made some kind of bush league mistake during opening arguments, coming close to earning a mistrial. Pretty crazy! But that's not the best part. Not by a long shot!

For all the unusual legal motions today, the trial is about to get a lot more strange tomorrow. The jury will watch the two DVDs in question— Sugar Britches and City Girls Extreme Gangbangs— in their entirety, in open court. However, Staunton Circuit Court is arranged such that the jury faces the rest of the courtroom. So while the rest of the court will be able to hear the explicit sex, only the jury will be able to see it on the projector screen, leaving the gallery to watch the jury watching porn.
Someone please Twitter this.

DCeptette: Rise of the Bots

  1. Peregrine Espresso sets to open on Capitol Hill in the old Murky Coffee space. The good news: managers who refrain from dispensing dickpunchings. The bad news: a clientele that deserves them much, much more. [City Desk]
  2. Best Byline In Life/Washington Post music critic Jay Dot Freedom Of The Lake did what needed to be done and angered fans of the Jonas Brothers by referring to Kevin Jonas as "the other one," adding that he "has the misfortune -- or, perhaps, the great fortune -- of being in a band with two guys who tend to overshadow him." Jonas fans declared comment war, lulz ensued. I have nothing to add to this, other than to say, in the interest of page views, that the Jonas Brothers music sounds like crippled goats getting anally tazed. That is all. [FishbowlDC]
  3. In other Fishbowl news, the Axis Of Flophouse continues to run this city, bringing home the Hottie Journo contest for Brian Beutler, who is, for what's it's worth, pretty goddamned pretty. But now, there's one more contest to jack. [FishbowlDC]
  4. Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski is upset about the Newseum using his secluded shack as an exhibit in the Newseum, and made his feelings known in a letter to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. You know what upsets me? Who the fuck is letting the Unabomber send letters to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco? [DCist]
  5. Michael Phelps: probably the final Cylon. Just putting it out there.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Also: Can't Blame Me For Trying


Elevating The Discourse

I said, "Trust me. Let me do a post on CNN's coverage of this Chupacabra story. Cryptozoology is so hot right now." Yeah. I knew I was gonna work it out.
But I still enjoy a little give and take, sure.

McMegan Becomes Comic Book Hero

Brian Wood writes a comic called DMZ, about a dystopian New York City that's on that list of comics I always mean to buy or borrow and then forget about when the opportunity arises. He also writes a series called Local, that I have similarly not kept up with, save #3, which takes place in the heart of my old stomping grounds down in Richmond, Virginia. Fact is, it's great: whenever I read it, I can see those characters milling down in Carytown or tucking in at my regular corner hang, The Village (great food, cheap booze, best jukebox in the Capital of the Confederacy. Grace and Harrison in the Fan District).


Anyway, the complete hardcovere collection of Local is coming out in September, according to NYMag's Vulture blog. Glad to hear it! However, this news was a little jarring:


But one of his most personal works is Local, a collection of twelve interconnected stories about vagabond Megan McArdle and the cities she lives in, from Minneapolis to Richmond to Halifax.
Right away, I was like, "Huh?" Megan McArdle? As in The Atlantic's Megan McArdle? Not that McMegan doesn't deserve her own comic imprint - Alan Moore needs to get working on that! - but that didn't sound right to me. Sure enough, it wasn't. The vagabond heroine of Local is Megan McKeenan.

The Audacity of Dopes: With Her Finger And Her Thumb In The Shape Of An 'L' On Her Forehead

Apparently, nobody wants to attend the Republican National Convention in St. (Ron?) Paul this year, because they weren't kidding apparently when they decided to hijack the tag line from the anti-depressant Effexor as a way of branding themselves. All the GOP are hopeless sad-sacks, and only three of the twelve Republicans in competitive Senate races think that winging out to the home of the Larry Craig PornoPotty is in any way a good idea.

But is it really going to be all that bad? This article from The Politico, describing the various and sundry entertainment options, offers a thin clue of hope:

In Minneapolis, you might also be able to finagle tickets to events featuring Smash Mouth, LeAnn Rimes and the Beach Boys.

Clearly this means that the GOP have got their hands on a time machine, and plan to hold the convention back in 1999: a year when Bush was beginning his ascension, and the last plausible moment when anyone in America would have had to "finagle" their way into a Smash Mouth concert.

Bad Advice From Bad Commercials

via Antikris:

Genital herpes commercials make me want to run out and have unprotected sex. Everyone looks so happy. I cant tell you when the last time I’ve flown a kite, but apparently people with herpes do it all the time.
Totally true. Did you ever see that Valtrex commercial? With the motorcycles? No? Well, time for some repurposed content of yore!

The narrative of that commercial was basically this:

Cool As All Get Out Dude is bustin’ out with the Life, yo. Only his man downstairs be bustin’ out with some open sores and painful discharge! It seemed to CAAGO Dude that life was never going to be radically awesome again! What was he gonna do? Well, luckily, these scientists that were totally down whipped up a batch of some r-r-r-r-remedy that was so bringin’ the vim, man, in stokeworthy amounts! And then as the pharmaceutical company narrator was winding through a list of the utterly dope side effects, CAAGO Dude and his Hot And Loving Some Herpes Girlfriend were shown rocking out on motorcycles, pumping their fists, swinging their legs over their bikes in that way that says we are gonna fucking SUCK the GODDAMN nectar out of SOMETHING. And watching CAAGO Dude and his HALSH Girlfriend rock out in the desert on their motorbikes, this commercial sent a clear message directly into my brainpan: Man, getting herpes would be totally cool!

Seriously. I’ve seen all sorts of pharmacological ad work. Man, I know it’s important to give a little uplift to the people who are going without some of our finer pills, powders and serums. That’s why many commercials resemble an acid trip, or show the cuddly critters you’ll no longer be allergic to, or got funny little smiley blobs jumping around meadows zooted up on Zoloft and living for the weekend. There’s that one of all those women lifting up their shirts and showing their tummies, and I don’t get that one really, but I guess it’s good that all these women with their bare tummies, like, have each other to talk to and stuff.

And, look, I seriously believe that we the people, in order to form a more perfect union, have completely got to reserve their right to rocking out. This great land is full of CAAGO Dudes who have every right to be racing through the untamed deserts, salt flats, and L.A. sewage canals on their motorbikes, sending a message of hope to the masses with their wheelies and bright teeth and windswept hair and rakish good looks.

But jeez, the CAAGO Dude in this commercial, and, presumably, his HALSH Girlfriend have freaking VD, man! Maybe they should cool it just a little? I mean, I don’t think I’m getting all prudish when I say that maybe, sometimes, the downside to the rocked out attitude is that it leads to things like sexually transmitted hoo-hah, okay? I’m just saying, maybe CAAGO and HALSH should show a little teeny bit of restraint. That maybe it might be good to stop rocking so hard on those motorcycles and sort of stare into the distance and send the message that maybe it’s also cool to take some precautions.

Look, this is all I’m saying. No need to get all serious and dour about everything. There’s a lot to be excited about in life, and everyone likes a few moments of throwing your back into some extreme-sports level joy. I get depressed thinking of all the people out there living in quiet desperation. Nevertheless, if you are one of those people that went out and got their genitals shot through with VD, maybe you should give quiet desperation a try.

Footprints

So, apparently, the Chinese people may not be the most honest people in the world, and their malevolence may have worn off on NBC. For example: China's star singer is a lip-syncer, like...uhm, many of ours. Also, the coverage coming out of Beijing might not always be truly "live," their 16-year old female gymnasts are actually eight-year old, shaved proboscis monkeys, and they haven't done very much to help out matter in Darfur.

Yes, for all that, I was totally perplexed today when the entire blogosphere went crazy with alarm and shock over the news that the pyrotechnic "footprints" features in the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics were nothing more than a CGI effect. Why was I perplexed? Because it seemed that everyone in my blog feed had gone stupid. As it turns out, none of them were paying attention to the actual ceremonies on teevee. I was, though! That's why I am apparently the only blogger in the world who heard Matt Lauer say:

You're looking at a cinematic device employed by Zhang Yimou here. This is actually almost animation. A footstep a second, 29 in all, to signify the 29 Olympiads.

Oh noes! How dare NBC...uhm...immediately disclose the true nature of that video effect.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

Just as George H.W. Bush had the Kurds, so too does George W. Bush have the Georgians. Also the Kurds. But don't worry! I'm sure everything's going to be just fine as soon as beach volleyball practice lets out.

Plastic Surgery Disasters


Everything Is Seemingly Spinning Out Of Control, A Continuing Series On Impending Doom: 3 - These Bandages Cover More Than Scrapes

Via Becks:

For most everyone over the age of 5, it’s unfathomable to use a bandage purely as body art. But since the adhesive strip has been upgraded by designers like Mr. Herchcovitch or studded with Swarovski crystals, some adults have begun to view it as they would a bracelet or spray tan, as adornment.

“Even if you don’t have a cut, bandages are a great way to make a statement that doesn’t break the bank,” said Chris Bick, an owner of FredFlare.com, which sells lip-shaped bandages. “It’s kind of like a temporary tattoo that gets you sympathy.”

Mr. Herchcovitch’s designs for the Band-Aid brand hit the shelves of Opening Ceremony in New York and Los Angeles last month. Within a week, 120 boxes sold out, at $10 each.
See? This is why terrorists, and Jesus, hate us. Everything is seemingly spinning out of control.

Crazy Eights

And now, the incredibly true story about how Catherine ended up doing one hundred and eight Sun Salutations. I feel her pain. When one does a pre-show physical/vocal warmup, one might do two or three of the fuckers. But I can't believe anyone in their right mind would to a hour's worth of them. They are a long and involved and intensely physical and (and here's the dealbreaker where I am concerned) really, really, really boring exercise. Ugh. Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, I consider this just one more thing that Jennifer 8. Lee will have to answer for once the Great Culling begins.

Catherine, next time, remember: anyone who asks you to do 108 Sun Salutations is no better than a street harrasser.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tropic Thunder Boycott Blunder

There's a word to describe Special Olympic chairman Timothy Shriver's asinine call to boycott Tropic Thunder, but it would be impolite to use it. Nevertheless, Ian Spiegelman, who each weekend does a magnificent job standing up for things that profit and delight all of us, knows the score:

Tropical Thunder, the hilarious-looking movie-in-a-movie that has so far failed to score a boycott for featuring Robert Downey Jr. in blackface or Tom Cruise as reportedly the most offensive Jewish stereotype since...Well, I don't find those very offensive, so don't ask me. Anywho, Ben Stiller's character is an actor who failed to get an Oscar nod for portraying a "retard" in the film "Simple Jack". And that's what's getting the pic boy-the-fuck-cotted. "'Not only might it happen, it will happen,' Timothy P. Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics, said of the expected push for a boycott." Because it's fine for actors to cynically go bobbing for Academy apples every year by playing a special character, but it's not okay for a comic actor to make fun of them for doing so.

And when the movie-going public inevitably ignores Shriver's inevitable boycott, he'll bring the government into it. "Mr. Shriver said that he had also begun to ask members of Congress for a resolution condemning what he called the movie’s 'hate speech' and calling for stronger federal support of the intellectually disabled. [...]
Mr. Shriver needs to get himself a grip. Wife of DCeiver, who works on the front lines of special education, says she's only too happy to see the makers of "treacly, cloying, bullshit movies" about the "special" get lampooned, adding that "there's nothing more offensive than movies like Sean Penn's I Am Sam. DID THEY BOYCOTT THAT?" I agree! In fact, was the horsewhipping Penn was due for that even scheduled? If not, I am all for horsewhipping him! With an additional caning, perhaps, for Mystic River, which similarly sucked upon canal water.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Pineapple Express

Naturally, I loved it, since it was all but direct marketed to me. But it was a really hysterical, ultraviolent piece of movie excellence, and it would be so even if it consisted solely of James Franco changing facial expressions for the camera.

While we're on the subject: You know, everyone's been talking about a certain "fearless" performance at the movies recently, but why so serious? If you ask me, the only reason people aren't talking about Franco in the same vein as Heath Ledger is that Franco hasn't yet been murdered/manslaughtered by an Olsen Twin. Well, fuck it. Dying is easy, comedy is hard.

Monday, August 04, 2008

We Have The Facts And We're Voting Da.

On Founders Day 1993, UVa. hosted Mikhail Gorbachev, and he was treated to this awful piece of crap twelve-tone composition written for the University Singers, filled with mind-numbing runs of recitative that even the Singers' director sort of gave up on, telling his charges that there were whole stretches where it just didn't matter what note they sang. I remember watching it at home on TV, and I couldn't help thinking, "Where, oh where, is the glorious piece of world-class Russian heavy metal that this august occasion and this great leader of men deserves?" As it turns out, that tune has arrived. Via Panopticist, here's the astounding video for ANJ's "Gorbachov."



GORBACHOV: THE MUSIC VIDEO - BIGGER AND RUSSIANER from Tom Stern on Vimeo.